Benefits of Exercise for People with Diabetes
Exercise or physical activity is important for everyone, but it’s particularly beneficial for people with Diabetes. Exercise has additional short and long term benefits for a person with Diabetes. When physical activity is performed with discipline, it can become an important element that will allow us to keep our blood glucose levels under control.
During physical activity, the muscles in the body use more glucose than when the body is at rest, lowering blood glucose levels. This could lead to a Hypoglycemic episode. In consequence it’s very important for people with Diabetes checking their blood sugar levels before, during and after exercising, and also to always carry fast absorption glucose sources such as candy, sugary drinks, glucose tablets or gels, among others.
In the long run, exercise increases the body’s cells’ sensitivity to insulin signals, making insulin more effective (whether is injected or produced by the body), reducing thus the required amount.
Exercise also helps lower blood fat levels, such as cholesterol and triglycerides. Excessive amounts of these fats in the blood helps trigger “Atherosclerosis” (formation of atherosclerotic plaques in the arterial walls). This disease develops most often in people with Diabetes, therefore, lowering blood fat levels by exercising offers a great additional benefit.
Exercise will help you lower your stress levels helping you to be more relaxed and calm. When we lower our stress levels, we improve our blood sugar levels’ control. This occurs because when we’re under stress, our body produces a hormone called Cortisol, which acts as a defense mechanism. This increases blood sugar levels, constricts blood vessels, increases blood pressure, and risk of being overweight, as well as other serious health problems.
Exercise will also help you lose weight, that way, you’ll be able to control your Diabetes better, as well as, any possible problems such as Hypertension. This will also make you feel better, both physically and emotionally.
Here’s a complete list of the benefits of exercising, especially for people with diabetes:
- Gives you more energy and work capacity.
- Increases vitality.
- Helps fight stress and helps you relax.
- Helps improve self-esteem.
- Reduces the feeling of fatigue.
- Helps fight anxiety and depression.
- Improves muscle tone.
- Stimulates endorphin production.
- Burns calories, helping you lose excess weight or keep your ideal weight.
- Helps fight insomnia.
- It’s a great opportunity to share an activity with friends or family and make new friends.
Remember that physical activity and exercise, directly affect your blood glucose levels and should be included or considered in the treatment your doctor programmed especially for you. You should find yourself in complete balance with your medication and meal plan, otherwise, your blood sugar levels may reach dangerous values and could lead to Hypoglycemia.
Exercising is very important for everyone, especially for people with Diabetes. It’s essential for you that your doctor tells you what kind of exercise is best for you, one that is fitted to your physical ability, in balance with your treatment, both in quantity and intensity, to avoid uncontrolled Diabetes. Regarding what kind of exercises you can do, we suggest you consult with your physician, who knows every single detail of your health, condition, medical history, treatment, your body’s tolerance and how you can react. Your physician knows your limitations or contraindications regarding your health or possible type of exercise, what can benefit you, or which ones you should avoid because it could lead to a problem.
In Diabetes Up to Date, we strive to offer the most reliable and comprehensive source of education and information regarding Diabetes, permitting you to achieve an optimal control of your blood sugar levels, so you can enjoy a healthy, productive and happy life.